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Rome - The Jesuit order sees itself called to greater efforts after the letter of Pope Francis to the abuse crisis. "Let us do everything in our power to work together to heal this situation in the Church," wrote the Superior General, Father Arturo Sosa SJ, in a letter calling the Order and all collaborators and partners "to respond to the cry of Pope Francis. In mourning and shame, the Order confess that among the perpetrators were members of the Society of Jesus.

In the letter, the Superior General calls on all provincials, superiors and plant managers to take initiatives and creative paths to promote a culture of youth protection and protection of vulnerable persons. The Order could learn the process of such cultural change through the exchange with other ecclesial groups as well as from other people of good will who are committed to the eradication of this evil.

Pope Francis had written a letter to Catholics worldwide on Monday after a report of abuse in the US state of Pennsylvania in which he acknowledged church failure and denounced clericalism as a major cause of sexual abuse. According to the Superior General, the Pope thus not only reaffirms the mandate of the recent General Congregation for an effective culture of protection of minors and those in need of protection, but goes beyond what has been learned so far with a "zero tolerance" policy, guidelines for action, efforts to pay damages and prevention programmes. "He invites us to personal, communal and institutional conversion in order to achieve coherence and integrity in our lives and to direct our apostolic action towards the realization of a culture inside and outside the Church that is capable of ensuring that situations of abuse are not repeated and that all people are guaranteed a healthy life. The Order asks the Lord for "growing sorrow and shame" in the face of the suffering caused by so many abuses and for his help for a "genuine process of personal and institutional conversion".

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